The Solar Power Tower uses several simple methods to harvest maximum electrical energy from solar photovoltaic panels, and a wind turbine.
The Solar Tower uses ranks of solar PV panels to create electricity and also heat the air inside the tower to create an updraft which spins a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT) at the top of the tower. The vertical updraft is augmented by the horizontal wind at the 40 foot level, by heat vented in from a nearby attic and also by wind at the 35 to 40 foot level that is channeled upward by an angled swiveling wind catcher directly underneath the VAWT.
The wind catcher is placed so it channels wind through the bottom of the VAWT, toward the side of the VAWT, but doesn't block off the air rising through the tower.
This tower can use a variety of materials, and can be a stand-alone installation, or retrofitted onto existing buildings.
As the temperature inside the tower can rise to 150 degrees F., it would be possible to add internal coils and a piping system to extract heat from the tower for installations in colder regions. Any heat extracted, however, would reduce the Chimney Effect powering the wind turbine. On cold windy days it might be worth it.
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